Self-medication includes several forms through which the individual him/herself or the ones responsible for him/her decide, without medical evaluation, which drug they will use and in which way for the symptomatic relief and “cure” of a condition. It involves sharing drugs with other members of the family and social group, using leftovers from previous prescriptions or disrespecting the medical prescription either by prolonging or interrupting the dosage and the administration period prescribed. Although few researches have studied aspects of self-medication in children and adolescents, some authors have reported a high prevalence of self-medication in this age group. Similar to adults, the highest consumption of drugs involves the use of analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory drugs followed by antibiotics. This review describes the global pattern of self-medication in children and adolescents, and discusses public policies aiming to promote health interventions and strategies to prevent self-medication.